Texas House Avoids Debate on Bathroom Bill, For Now

Anchia said if the state's top Republicans are passing bills to get rid of so-called "sanctuary cities" then they should also be on board with getting rid of what he's calling "sanctuary industries".

Texas' finances are not as bleak as other states.

Disbursements from the House's use of the rainy day fund, which is funded primarily by oil and gas production taxes and is projected to grow to nearly $12 billion by the end of 2019, include nearly $670 million in border security spending, $500 million to help plug a shortfall in the retired teacher health care system and $187 million for state hospitals and supported-living centers.

But booming Texas is still belt-tightening in the wake of sagging energy prices.

The $106.3 billion package, approved 31-0, doesn't fully fund future Medicaid caseloads in rapidly growing Texas. But it does close a state prison while failing to give Abbott the dollars he wants for pre-kindergarten and bringing elite researchers to state universities. Congress is supposed to pass 12 separate bills each year to fund federal agencies, but the two chambers have so far in 2017 been able to agree on just one - the bill to fund military construction and veterans' programs.

It takes a lot to annoy Joe Straus.

"We've been told we've got to prioritize our needs over our wants", said state Sen.

A road funding plan that would cost drivers more money at the pump and could add tolls to IN roadways moves forward IN the Senate with a new combination of tax increases.

The Texas Senate has passed a bill prohibiting coverage of abortion by some health insurance plans in Texas - despite similar efforts stalling previously. He noted that Catholic leaders in Texas had pledged to cover the costs of burial. There are also fierce disagreements about which state programs should be cut in a lean budget year.

Straus, meanwhile, praised a House committee's passage of a major school finance reform bill earlier Tuesday, which would put about $1.6 billion in state funding toward schools. That's just less than half of what child welfare officials have said they need to make serious reforms in the face of crisis. The Senate two weeks ago approved what its sponsors are calling the Texas Privacy Act by a 21-10 margin.

"He felt like this was very reasonable and doable", said Davis, who led a group of lawmakers in examining health and human services spending.

As in every session, the two largest slices of the budget go toward healthcare and education spending, but for the first time health and human service spending in all funds has surpassed the education budget. "We will continue to look for savings, efficiencies and opportunities to free up resources to fund additional priorities". The Senate budget would remove the $1.4 billion spent on special items last session, and replace it with $700 million to increase standard formula funding. But on Tuesday, social conservative Republicans are expected to try to breathe some life into the controversial issue by adding an amendment to the legislation extending the life of the state agency that regulates oil and gas.

  • Salvatore Jensen